Early methods used by cocaine ‘mules’. Photographs taken by anti-narcotics police at Bogotá airport.

‘Pablo always said that it was the young gringos from the Peace Corps who started the cocaine bonanza, they began to arrive and invade this country, sent by the government up there, saying they had come in search of peace, but they ended up in search of cocaine.’

Jamie Gaviria, Pablo’s Cousin

While in Colombia researching an idea for a photographic project called Narcotecture, I found a bag of photographs on Pablo Escobar’s private prison. It set me on a journey for the next 3 years searching for visual material and meeting people who knew Pablo Escobar. Pablo Escobar was ‘the richest and most violent gangster in history’, the head of the Medellin Cartel, which was responsible for supplying 80 per cent of the world’s cocaine during the 1980s. In an attempt to avoid extradition to the USA, he declared war on the Colombian state and thousands died as a result. For this brief web version I have extended the visual intro to the book.